Not forsaking the gathering together
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Are all churches exempt from strict regulations? #86
You have a choice to delete this message, read it, do nothing or seek the kingdom for yourself and for others equally.
Some of you have seen a early version of this epistle on the 501c3 issue. I write it so that all will understand the danger and power of application for the benefits or protection or security from those who would exercise authority one over the other and limit the liberty of choice among men.
The Kingdom is about choice and the right to choose the ways of God or the ways of tyrants. From Nimrod to Pharaoh, from Saul to Caesar men will offer you benefits in exchange for your freedom. Until you learn to be a benefit for one another, cast your bread upon the waters and forgive one another tending to the weightier matters of law judgment mercy and faith all will remain under tribute and rightfully so.
How many shall work to come together or like the foolish virgins wait and fiddle until the door is locked and bolted?
Are all churches exempt from strict regulations?
Recently in a post to the Ministers to the Living Network1 I stated that people "should not be telling churches not to become 501c3".
Many were confused because they do not understand that 501c3 is a number of a code regulating a branch of the federal government concerning all sorts of charitable organizations.
Many of these organizations can qualify for exemption based on their compliance with the terms of those federal statutes. The term 501c3 is not really a status or a title until you make it one.
Organizations must adjust their status to meet those terms in the statutes and then they must apply in order to obtain a “classification” recognition. Once they obtain recognition through application and compliance with the rules and terms for their type of organization they may use the designation of 501c3 to identify that they have obtained a classifying determination letter based on their "compliance" and "application".
The interesting point in the codes is that there are no terms or rules for the Church to comply with nor are they required to file. Their law is clear...
“Some organizations are not required to file form 1023. These include: Churches, interchurch organizations of local units of a church, conventions or association of a church, such as a men's or women’s organization, religious school, mission society, or youth group.”
“These organizations are exempt automatically if they meet the requirements of section 501c(3). ...."2
If you are a church you are considered exempt automatically because the terms related in 501c3 say so: “The following organizations will be considered tax exempt under section 501c(3) even if they do not file Form 1023: (a) churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches,…” “Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code,” under “Purpose of Form,” section “3
Even Title 26 USCS §508 (c)(1) states:
Special rules with respect to 501c(3) organizations.
(a) New organizations must notify the secretary that they are applying for recognition of section 501c(3) status Except as provided in subsection c....
(b) Presumption that organizations are private foundations. Except as provided in subsection c. …
(c) Exceptions. (1) Mandatory exceptions, Subsections (a) and (b) shall not apply to ---
(A) churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches....4
To say that the Church is not 501c3 or cannot become 501c3 or is not considered 501c3 or that the Church does not have a status that provides it an exemption under 501c3 recognized in the codes is incorrect.
“Even if these organizations are not required to file form 1023 to be tax-exempt, they may wish to file form 1023 and receive a determination letter of IRS recognition of their section 501c(3) status to obtain certain incidental benefits such as public recognition of their tax exempt status; exemptions from certain state taxes; advance assurance to donors of deductibility of contributions; exemption from certain Federal excise taxes; nonprofit mailing privileges, etc.”5
Is there any harm in applying even though there is no requirement?
The government tells us if we truly seek the answer.
In the "Detailed Analysis, Tax Management Inc.", a subsidiary of the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. 464-2nd, A - 1 it clearly states what the "Advantages and Disadvantages of Exemption Under Section 501c(3)." are.
"The main advantage to classification under §501c(3) is that the organization is generally spared federal taxation of its income."
It is clear that any “organization” granted or permitted exemption through an application under § 501c(3) is only“generally6 spared” by the grace of the state. Their application has granted an authority to “classify” exempt what had formerly been automatically exempt.
That seems to be a disadvantage in itself but is there other disadvantages?
The Detailed Analysis, Tax Management Inc. states that “The disadvantages of exemption under §501c(3) stem from the strict operational restrictions.”7
An exercising authority is often established through application and while the Church does not have to apply to the state many do, granting a power of strict operational restrictions. This does not mean the Church can do anything it desires because it does need to comply with the desires of Jesus, whose government is not a part of the world of Rome or the United States.8
The reason the Church does not have to file is not the result of government grace or benefaction. It is because of Christ, who appointed the kingdom to His apostles and established that assembly we call the Church thousands of years ago.
Do your rights come from the codes or the constitution or from God?
Does the Holiness and separation of the Church come or even result from the codes or do they come from the blood of Christ?
The Church was here first. It was established almost 2000 years ago.
Yes many Churches do file and even incorporate and become something other than the institution of Christ.
Being considered 501c3 does not make you a part of any system. It is a code designation and the codes are saying that they consider the Church exempt automatically.
If the United States considers the queen of England to be the queen of England does that make her subject to the United States?
And just because the codes tell the IRS to consider the Church exempt even if they do not apply no authority over the Church is conceded. It is the “application” that brings the Church to state of being "strictly" regulated.
By applying (praying) to other governments for a determination letter you are giving a power to Caesar that should remain the power of Christ alone.
Churches that do not apply cannot honestly say they are not considered exempt because under the regulatory codes of the IRS "churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches" are automatically considered to have the exemption of other 501c3 institution even if they do not apply.
To say that the non filing or unregistered church is not 501c3 can create confusion and even the impression that some how by not filing the Church is in rebellion or in violation of the law. The truth is if a church is the Church, under the rules of 501c3, they are considered exempt even without filing. So, if someone asks if your Church is 501c3 the best answer maybe 'the IRS considers all churches exempt under 501c3'.
This is not to say that the Church cannot effect its status in other ways. There are many other dangerous and even lethal errors including other applications by ministers that should be understood if the Church is to avoid disaster. The early Church in America refused to make such applications common among ministers and churches today.9 It is the "application" that gives power, not the "consideration" or even the mandatory recognition of an exception.
God gave us our freedom and Christ gave us our exemption by His grace. The Church established by Jesus Christ, preexisted the codes.
Why would we apply for the grace or exemption of another?
Is Christ not sufficient?
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Body of Christ vs The Body of the State
from the book "The Covenants of the gods"
Should a Church of Jesus Christ apply to or incorporate with another government?
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